LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City lawmakers voted Tuesday to double-down on an effort to crack down on graffiti vandalism.
The Los Angeles City Council instructed City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office to draft an ordinance based on motion by Councilman Paul Krekorian that calls on the city to increase the reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of graffiti vandals to $2,000 from $1,000.
Krekorian’s motion (PDF) also urges officials to increase penalties for graffiti violators, particularly on city murals.
Currently, the L.A. municipal code allows for an administrative fine of $250 for the first graffiti offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third.
The motion follows the passage of a mural ordinance in 2013 that saw officials set aside $1.75 million for a mural-restoration program.
Krekorian defended his call for stiffer penalties by emphasizing that murals take longer to remove in a process that is much costlier to taxpayers.
The penalties “should be significantly higher when the graffiti affects a mural that ends up costing the city tens of thousands of dollars to try to restore,” Krekorian said.
Graffiti-removal requests and reports of in-progress vandalism can be made online at graffiti.lacity.org and by calling 311, he said.